Category Archives: Trade

A Global Environmental Right (S. J. Turner)

Author

Stephen J. Turner

Keywords

Environmental Rights, Global Environmental Governance, Constitutional Law, Company Law, Trade Law, Non-State Actors, Climate Change Law

Abstract

The development of an international substantive environmental right on a global level has long been a contested issue. To a limited extent environmental rights have developed in a fragmented way through different legal regimes. This book examines the potential for the development of a global environmental right that would create legal duties for all types of decision-makers and provide the bedrock for a new system of international environmental governance. Taking a problem solving approach, the book seeks to demonstrate how straightforward and logical changes to the existing global legal architecture would address some of the fundamental root causes of environmental degradation. It puts forward a draft global environmental right that would integrate duties for both state and non-state actors within reformed systems of environmental governance and a rational framework for business and industry to adhere to in order that those systems could be made operational. It also examines the failures of the existing international climate change regime and explains how the draft global environmental right could remedy existing deficits.

Citation

(2014) A Global Environmental Right. Earthscan by Routledge.

Book

A Global Environmental Right

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Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and the Global South (C. G. Gonzalez)

Author(s)

Carmen G. Gonzalez

Keywords

human rights, right to a healthy environment, environmental justice, Third World Approaches to International Law, TWAIL, North-South divide, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, colonialism, development, transnational corporations, Maastricht principles, extraterritoriality

Abstract

From the Ogoni people devastated by oil drilling in Nigeria to the Inuit and other indigenous populations threatened by climate change, communities disparately burdened by environmental degradation are increasingly framing their demands for environmental justice in the language of environmental human rights. Domestic and international tribunals have concluded that failure to protect the environment violates a variety of human rights (including the rights to life, health, food, water, property, and privacy; the collective rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and resources; and the right to a healthy environment).

Some scholars have questioned the utility of the human rights framework given the diminished governance capacity of many Third World states due to decades of intervention by international financial institutions and restrictions imposed by trade and investment agreements. Others have expressed doubts about the ability of human rights law to adequately articulate and advance the aspirations and resistance strategies of diverse grassroots social justice movements, and have warned about the susceptibility of human rights law and discourse to co-optation by powerful states to advance their own economic and political interests (for example, through “humanitarian intervention” in Third World states).

This article examines the promise and the peril of environmental human rights as a means of challenging environmental injustice within nations as well as the North-South dimension of environmental injustice. Drawing a distinction between human rights discourse as a tool of popular mobilization and human rights law as codified in legal instruments and enforced by international institutions, the article examines some of the limitations of human rights law as an instrument of resistance to environmental injustice and offers several strategies to enhance its emancipatory potential.

Citation

(2015) 13 Santa Clara Journal of International Law 151

Paper

Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and the Global South

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Note, The Nigerian Tragedy, Environmental Regulation of Transnational Corporations, and the Human Right to a Healthy Environment (J. P. Eaton)

Title

Joshua P. Eaton

Keywords

Nigeria, transnational corporations, environmental regulation, human right to a healthy environment

Abstract

“I. Introduction

The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed an unprecedented expansion in the number of corporations operating beyond their national borders. By 1990, nearly 37,000 transnational corporations (TNCs) existed in the world. This figure continues to grow rapidly as trade barriers diminish, communications systems improve, and transportation becomes cheaper and more efficient. A 1992 Earth Summit document, Agenda 21, appropriately recognizes that “business and industry, including transnational corporations, play a crucial role in the social and economic development of a country.” Furthermore, TNCs contribute to the increasing prosperity of a developing nation by providing “major trading, employment and livelihood opportunities” and by helping to strengthen the role of women in society.

Unfortunately, the impact of TNCs, particularly in developing countries, has not been all positive. While some TNCs conduct responsible international business operations, others blatantly disregard human and environmental concerns in their countries of operation. The citizens of developed nations rarely hear of the environmental havoc many TNCs wreak in developing countries because only major disasters, such as that which occurred in Bhopal, are widely reported in the news.

This Note examines the environmental damage caused by TNCs in the course of oil exploitation activities in Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.”

Citation

(1997) 15 Boston University International Law Journal 261.

Paper

Note, The Nigerian Tragedy, Environmental Regulation of Transnational Corporations, and the Human Right to a Healthy Environment

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Cross-National Environmental Injustice and Human Rights Issues: A Review of Evidence in the Developing World (F. O. Adeola)

Author

Francis O. Adeola

Keywords

global environmental injustice, human rights violations, transnational toxic waste trade, natural resources, environmental justice, underdeveloped nations, Ogoni People, international norms, authoritarian regimes

Abstract

This article focuses on the issues of environmental injustice and human rights violations across nations. Using existing documents, the patterns of the transnational toxic waste trade and natural resource exploitation and the bases of global environmental injustice are explored. The dependency/world-system perspective on toxic waste exports and imports and the environmental justice framework are used to analyze transnational toxic waste dumping schemes and resource exploitation in underdeveloped nations. With an emphasis on the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, available evidence suggests that environmental activists, powerless indigenous subpopulations, and other minorities face the danger of environmental injustice and human rights abuse, especially under authoritarian regimes. The need for stronger international norms protecting human rights to a safe and sound environment is emphasized, and it is argued that environmental injustice needs to be included as a component of human rights protocols. Policy implications of theoretical analyses are offered.

Citation

(2000) 43 American Behavioral Scientist 686.

Paper

Cross-National Environmental Injustice and Human Rights Issues: A
Review of Evidence in the Developing World

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Climate justice: the claim of the past (S.J. Humphreys)

Author

Stephen. J. Humphreys

Keywords

Climate justice, rule of law, trade law, human rights, colonialism, globalization, Walter Benjamin

Abstract

This synthetic appraisal of the collection of papers in this issue argues that historical injustice saturates the problem of climate change. Those most vulnerable to climate change today are largely those who already lack resources – who have been on the wrong end of colonial history, or who have been globalization’s losers, or who have suffered neglect, exclusion or simple rapacity at the hands of their own governments. They are those who have benefitted little or not at all from a carbon-intensive global economy, but who have long suffered its side effects – resource stripping, food price spikes, impoverishment and now the ravages of climate change. Following the other authors in this issue – and examining human rights law, trade law and the overarching ideal of the rule of law – the paper notes that the particular form taken by law in international and transnational affairs, having largely followed the historical progress of industrialism, colonialism and globalization, is peculiarly ill-suited to the task of addressing this vulnerability.

Citation

(2014) 0 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 134-148

Publication

Climate justice: the claim of the past

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